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Image Of The Week: Desert Storm Flashback, Jay Nichols Style

Like many of you, I’m headed for the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., today. OK, that’s not accurate. My gal and I are headed to Las Vegas today. We’ll make the top-down (of course I rented a swanky convertible—we live once), two-and-a-half-hour drive, quicker if I can beat my previous time without picking up a speeding ticket, to Lake Havasu tomorrow morning. Then I’ll be “working” for the next few days with Jason Johnson, my speedonthewater.com partner.

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The essence of Desert Storm, captured by Jay Nichols (click image to enlarge for full frame). Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

For the first time in four years, photographer Jay Nichols won’t make it to Desert Storm, and Johnson and I are going to miss him. (Professional obligations and the need for a break are keeping him home in Clearwater, Fla.) Regardless of how you feel about Nichols’ heavily stylized images—and everyone seems to have a strong opinion on them—he’s been a fixture at Desert Storm and his work has captured the attention of the national performance-boating audience. I am convinced that Nichols’ images actually have drawn people to the event. And that’s both powerful and positive.

After spending a little time going through Nichols’ galleries this morning, I found an image from 2015 that, from my perspective formed through covering Desert Storm for more years than I care to remember, captures the essence of the annual late-April event. A yellow DCB catamaran running solo in the late afternoon on pristine, wind-rippled Colorado River water with just a touch of desert shoreline in the background—if this photo doesn’t say, “Picture yourself here,” I’m not sure what does.

Thank you, Jay Nichols, not just for capturing thousands of Desert Storm moments but for sparking the imaginations of go-fast powerboat enthusiasts around the country, many of whom are traveling today to the event you’ve chronicled so beautifully for the past three years. You’ll be missed.

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